More than ever, nursing remains the thread that combines the healthcare systems and communities that keep our patients alive. But is this true elsewhere in the world? Could you demonstrate your skills or learn skills in a completely different environment. The answer is simple, yes. Nursing is universal bound by the same principles and foundations Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole created, for what nursing is today.
So what exactly is medical volunteering?
It takes truly committed people to this abroad! With medical volunteering, you will be volunteering to work with patients or in a healthcare specific area on a voluntary basis. Unlike other types of volunteering, medical volunteering is a difficult, challenging and profound area. Medical volunteers will witness and experience things other volunteers never will or what they never would have at home. This can be a huge challenge as often times volunteers experience situations that can leave them feeling sad, shocked or confused. But for the most part volunteers are often left amazed at the resilience of their patients and at the skill and dedication of their new colleagues. It truly is a hugely moving experience and one most Medi Trippers never forget.
Many Medi Trippers will not have ever visited Africa, much less Tanzania and often don’t really know what to expect. At Medi Trip, we try not to build any particular expectations as every Medi Tripper’s experience and perception is very unique and individual, however none are let down or left anything less than amazed by Tanzania. Tanzanian’s uphold a strong reputation of being incredibly gracious, kind and warm people. You will often find yourself involved in an extended greeting or a long conversation of someone getting to know you or just simply finding out how you are and it is considered very rude not to greet people appropriately. Don’t be shy and enjoy the warm welcomes you will be greeted with walking down the street, socializing or at work!
Hospitals in Tanzania are unlike those back home. Many times you will come across patients sharing beds, hospitals unable to provide food for patients, adequate medication or enough staff to deal with all the cases. There will be times when you are shocked by the conditions you see people have to endure to recieve what we might view as sub par care or basic care. Remember, that the country is poor, with limited funding and very few resources therefore they suffer from a high mortality rate and frequent outbreaks of disease. You will see a lot of suffering and you must have the ability to maintain your professionalism and remain strong minded and compassionate.Work directly with patient's in a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses and assistants caring for sick and unwell people in Arusha. Everyday will be working challenge as you receive your group of patients for the day that will need your help. Choose your area of interest from:
- General medical
- Out patients
- Children's ward
Although most Tanzanian's speak and understand basic English, language may be a barrier when communicating with your medical colleagues and your patients. It is important to remain open and confident while working as at times you may feel isolated and lost. Remember that you will always have your supervisor at hand to assist you and help guide you along the way. Many people find once they get to know their colleagues and get into the flow of things, this isn't much of an issue, however this is another challenge that you will have to be prepared to overcome.
Medi Trip Placements
At Medi Trip we are distinguished in being able to use our healthcare experience and expertise to pick the most suitable settings for our professional volunteers to experience. When you volunteer with Medi Trip, your volunteer placement would have been chosen specifically to suit your area of interest. Each of our placements are carefully assessed and selected for suitability to our professional volunteers, as well as how much contribution goes into the local health and social welfare.
Tanzania belongs to the East African community, neighboured by Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, Rwanada, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Mozambique. Arusha is in northern Tanznia; a very unique and vibrant city at the base of Mount Meru, about an hour away from the tallest mountain in Africa Mount Kilimanjaro. The city is surrounded by natural beauty being in close proximity to several national parks including Tarangire, Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Olduvai and Arusha National Parks.
Interestingly, Arusha hosted the international criminal tribunal for Rwanada and sits as the de facto East African Community capital. Despite being in a conservative and religious country, Arusha is regarded as more liberal and very open to foreigners. Perhaps due to it's historical significance in the 1961 Arusha Declaration, which gave independence to modern Tanzania from the British Commonwealth. The city is very much a melting pot, multicultural and populated by people from all different backgrounds. The main language spoken is Swahili and a visitor would do well by learning a few of the many greetings.
Where will you stay?
You will stay in Siret Hostel, one of the highest rated and reviewed guesthouses in Arusha. We provide safe, clean and comfortable accommodation, comfortable bedding, excellent breakfast and dinner and housekeeping. This will be a quiet and friendly neighbourhood only 15 minutes from the main hustle and bustle of town. You will have 24 hour gated security, a domestic/cook (who will happily do your laundry for a small fee) and a coordinator who will ensure you settle in quickly and comfortably into your new town. This is a shared home where you will be staying with other volunteers and guests from across the world, so you will never be on your own in your new environment. The house is impeccably clean, well kept, modern and spacious.
How will you get around?
You have the choice of local taxi’s (we have contacts of affordable, trusted drivers) who can chauffer you around town or you can use the famous 'dala dala’ mini buses that most Tanzanian’s use to travel locally everyday. Some people adapt very fast and choose to walk around, it is safe to do so however like with any new environment we strongly advise you to be aware of pick pockets and thieves. Always be safe and ask your coordinator before going anywhere new to you.
Important VISA & Permit Information
You will be required to pay a $50 USD VISA to enter the country at the aiport. This is a quick and simple process at arrivals in the airport.
Once in Arusha we will process your Volunteer Permit to allow you to legally carry out your volunteering. This will be $200 USD and will be arranged by us and paid directly to the local government. Your permit will be permanently stamped in your passport and valid for 90 days.
- Counseling / Mental Health
- Patient Care
- Children Medical Services
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- Background Check
- Must be at least 18
- Monday to Friday 07.30-15.00 (flexible)